Guerrilla Wedfare: 5 Tips for The Surprise Ceremony

Congratulations on your engagement!  Everything now costs three times what it should, and nothing makes sense.  Nothing says LOVE like wedding debt, right?

Aaaaactually, love is love no matter what a wedding might cost.  And at the end of the day, you and your beloved are the ones who get to make decisions about your wedding day.  If a big, traditional, expensive wedding is your dream and within your ability, you should absolutely do it!

But if your dreams lie elsewhere, let us be the first to assure you that you should chase them in your own way.  Tons of couples (almost half of our own clients) are planning their weddings without all the traditional trappings, opting instead for home ceremonies, or the innovative and exciting world of guerrilla weddings!  Shocked by the cost of common event venues, these couples are showing up where and when they choose, with a marriage license and little else in the way of permission, and getting married in a flash!  If this sounds like a dream come true to you, we have some tips from experience that can help you get started.  Obviously, the best bet you can make is to call EQ and let us manage & officiate your affordable guerrilla wedding extravaganza, but here are five more pieces of advice from us to you!

1. Take Wise Risks.

Not to rain on your hopes and dreams, but we highly recommend choosing a spot that’s accessible to the general public. Unpredictability is part of the excitement of a guerrilla-style wedding, but if you and your beloved try to get married unannounced on private or guarded property, you could get hit with a trespassing charge.  A lot of places that typically host weddings are located on private property, and they would be totally within their rights to ask you to leave (even in the middle of your ceremony!).  Also keep in mind that when you choose this kind of wedding, you are asking your officiant to take a professional and personal risk.  Choose carefully  – the goal is to have a happy memory that preferably does not involve the cops.

2. Be Fashion-Conscious.

If you wear traditional wedding regalia and bust up into a location you haven’t formally booked, you may as well be wearing a sign reading PLEASE KICK US OUT.  If you want to wear something besides jeans, that’s completely understandable!  But choose wisely. Nice, causal black or white clothing can make the event feel like a wedding, without putting you on blast.

3. Keep It Short, Keep It Awesome.

Keep in mind how you, and anyone coming along to witness your guerrilla ceremony, will be feeling.  Probably excited, nervous, and a little giddy.  There’s a good reason more and more couples are choosing this kind of wedding (besides that it costs basically nothing): it’s *really* fun.  To feed into that enthusiasm, work with your officiant to create a personalized but short ceremony!   A succinct experience prevents the excitement from draining away as it might during a lengthy, traditional wedding, and it also reduces the chance of any, um, uninvited interruptions.

4. As Always…Get Creative.

This kind of wedding is already pretty far outside the box, but it’s all relative!  While you’re brainstorming possible locations, remember that you don’t *have* to pick a spot that comes with anxiety over getting caught.  Some epic flash weddings have taken place in the middle of the woods, in open fields, and at the top of mountains.  The benefit of choosing a wide-open location is that it usually isn’t monitored by anyone, and you can do what you want.  This approach also allows you to invite more people, and have more flexibility on clothing and other wedding-y stuff.  Just be aware that you may run into stuff you can’t control, like weather issues or dogs out for walkies.  No matter what, your wedding will turn into an awesome story.

5. No, really.  Get creative.

Going this route is incredibly freeing, so take advantage of that.  Where you otherwise might stress about whether the linens should be burgundy or raspberry, a guerrilla wedding lets you ponder infinitely crazier questions.  Should we wear our Gryffindor and Hufflepuff scarves? (Yes).  Are the security guards likely to hear this ukulele? (Sadly, also yes).  Should the ceremony be in front of the White House, or at Edgar Allen Poe’s grave?  (Literally no wrong answer).  So many couples are embracing this because it provides a financial and personal shelter from a wedding industry that, to some couples, can feel caging, overpriced, and old-fashioned.  It’s your wedding.  Do you.


EQ Events provides officiating for all kinds of wedding ceremonies!  email Casey at to get started on your affordable, personal, perfect guerrilla wedding!